Winter Garden

Experience Florida's number one city to raise a family.

Winter Garden

Get to know the City

Winter Garden Story

Settlers began arriving in the Winter Garden area in the 1850s, attracted by the fertile land bordering Lake Apopka. They were engaged in citrus and vegetable farming, living in small settlements along the southern shore of the lake. By the end of the 19th century, Winter Garden's commercial district had grown alongside the two railway lines that ran through the city.

The commercial buildings were rebuilt with bricks after two fires destroyed the wooden buildings and packing houses along the Plant and Main Streets.

Winter Garden was founded in 1903 and officially incorporated as a city in 1908. The first mayor of Winter Garden was A.B. Newton. Winter Garden's population grew to over 1,000 people in 1920, and the city quickly became the center of commerce and agriculture in West Orange County. The emergence of Lake Apopka as the "capital" of the large-mouth bass attracted tourists, and the Edgewater Hotel was opened in 1927 to accommodate these visitors. The first residents either owned or worked in the woods. As the citrus industry grew in importance and cultivated area, the commercial district continued to expand.

The rapid development of Winter Garden slowed considerably in the late 1960s. Lake Apopka became severely polluted, and the construction of the region's main roads attracted businesses from the city centre.

Despite the challenges, the architectural heritage of Winter Garden remained intact. The establishment of the West Orange Trail attracted thousands of visitors eager to sponsor the new shops and restaurants that moved into the old buildings. In 1996, Winter Garden's downtown was listed on the National placesHistoric Register after concerned citizens and community leaders united to rescue the commercial district.

Today, the historic Winter Garden district serves as a successful example of historical preservation. Full development, redevelopment, reused buildings, preservation, housing and businesses converge to create a prosperous center that attracts people from all over the world.

History Photo 5 - Train Station
An Atlantic Coast Line train arrives at the station located at the intersection of Plant and Main Streets.
History Photo 2 - Parade
The Lakeview school band marches along Plant Street in this 1955 photo.

Source: Winter Garden City Hall.

Others communities at 

Winter Garden